The Free, Pop-Up Photo Festival You Can’t Miss in New York City

For 10 days this September, a waterfront area below the Brooklyn Bridge will transform into a “photography village” featuring powerful exhibitions displayed in shipping containers.

Photoville Exhibit

More than 60 shipping containers are repurposed as pop-up photo galleries for Photoville, a free outdoor photography festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Jessica Bal / United Photo Industries

New York City has seen a slew of exciting summer openings, exhibitions, and events, from debut performances at The Shed, the new arts center at Hudson Yards, to the citywide celebration of WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Before summer ends, a free-to-attend outdoor “photography village” will join this list when the annual Photoville returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

From September 12 to 22, 2019, works by more than 600 global artists will be displayed temporarily in shipping containers that have been repurposed as pop-up photography exhibits in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. The event—which is organized by Brooklyn-based nonprofit United Photo Industries—is open to all ages (even dogs) to attend. It will include more than 80 exhibitions this year, some presented in partnership with National Geographic, the New York Times, Magnum Foundation, the International Rescue Committee, and other behemoths of visual storytelling. (Hours of operation vary daily, so be sure to check the schedule online.)

Photoville 2018 (© Jessica Bal)

Photoville 2018 (© Jessica Bal)

Among the compelling photography exhibitions that will be on display this year are Of Love and War, a retrospective from award-winning U.S. photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who has covered humanitarian conflicts from Syria to Darfur, and How We See Ourselves, which depicts a more nuanced view of Indigenous life through a selection of works by Indigenous photographers, presented by Natives Photograph collective. A New York Times exhibition titled #thisis18, which captures what life looks like for 18-year-old girls around the world using images shot by young women age 17 to 22, will premiere at Photoville NYC 2019.

Photoville 2018 (© Jessica Bal)

Photoville 2018 (© Jessica Bal)

Throughout the festival, a series of special programs on offer include photography workshops with Leica Camera and Adobe, panel discussions led by prominent photojournalists, and evening presentations from the International Center for Photography, PBS Frontline, and more.

In addition to the photography village pop-up itself, Photoville NYC 2019 also brings a beer garden to the riverfront space at Brooklyn Bridge Park, with local food and drink vendors organized by Smorgasburg (a seasonal, open-air food market that’s hugely popular among New Yorkers). Photoville returns to New York City for its eighth year in a row after the free photography festival expanded to Los Angeles for the first time in early 2019.

Photoville will be closed from September 16 through 18, 2019. The full 2019 program is available online with details and a schedule for talks, workshops, and activities.

>> Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Guide to New York City

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